Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) are brain glycoproteins that function in neuronal cell survival and regeneration. Thus, they have potential therapeutic applications for neurodegenerative conditions. This purpose of this MQP, performed in collaboration with Ceremedix, Inc., tested four hypotheses: (1) that the NTF ependymin (EPN) helps alleviate the neuronal oxidative stress associated with stroke by up-regulating superoxide dismutase (SOD), (2) that anti-oxidative events, specifically the up-regulation of SOD, are a part of the cell's natural response to anoxia, (3) that small peptide mimetics can mimic the activity of NTF's and (4) that the MAPK pathway is used to up-regulate SOD. Mouse and rat models for stroke and rat primary cortical cultures were treated with peptides whose sequences were based on EPN. Total cellular lysates were analyzed by immunoblot to assay changes in SOD levels. The data indicate that peptide mimetics are able to increase the total cellular levels of SOD, which is part of the cell's natural response to anoxia, and that the peptide 8933 uses the MAPK pathway to up-regulate SOD.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2002




Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology